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June 20, 2005

Roger Federer


THE MODERATOR: Roger Federer for you.

Q. Happy? That was the one you feared most.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, yeah, it's definitely a good start to the tournament. I think there's always something special, you know, when you come back and defend -- try to defend the Wimbledon championship. So I'm definitely very happy to have done that. Very important first step.

Q. Has the tension you said you'd feel gone now or will it come back at the start of your next match?

ROGER FEDERER: I definitely got more pressure off my back now. Luckily I've played my next opponent, as well. I played him in Dubai this year. Looking forward, you know, to play him again. But definitely feel sort of relieved, you know, after this start. Looking forward to the rest. Now it's sort of getting interesting. You're into the tournament, you've seen the fans, you don't have to leave right away, so that's nice (smiling).

Q. Was it nice coming on? You got a good cheer as you walked out. Gave them a little wave as you walked on.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, I thought it was a great applause I got, you know, from the fans and from the crowd. That was definitely a nice welcome. Also nice walking off, which I said yesterday was going to be nicer, you know, especially in case I win.

Q. How did the court play? Was it slow-ish, soft-ish? Was it what you expected?

ROGER FEDERER: Uhm, yeah, I think it's very similar to the outside courts. I didn't have to adjust that much. Obviously, in a match situation -- matches are always different than practice. Right away you feel different. But I really thought the grass was beautiful. When I started to warm up, everything was just perfect. Once the match went on, you saw little holes coming. But I thought it was a beautiful court because -- honestly I don't quite remember my match too much against Bogdanovic last year. I just remember being really focused and trying to get the match over and done with. Didn't really maybe enjoy the moment so much, where I thought this year I could do it much more.

Q. You played five minutes before anybody made a volley. I kept thinking, "Maybe they've forgotten they're on grass."

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, well, I didn't want to storm too much to the net too quickly. I also wanted to definitely get my rhythm first. Yeah, I think I came in on a return, wasn't it?

Q. Yes.

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, we didn't play much serve and volley - especially him. I had the feeling on first serves he wasn't making many returns, you know. When I was serve and volleying, I wasn't even getting the volley. But you're right, I think we definitely could have played more serve and volley, but I won the way playing from the back. Who knows, maybe next match. It's a different opponent and I'll play totally different.

Q. Do you sort of feel loved here now when you come? People give you a good reception when you're wandering around? Anything unusual at all?

ROGER FEDERER: I warmed up this morning at 11 on the outside courts. Everybody just came into the gates, into the grounds. Everyone you meet was, "Good luck, good luck, good luck." It was a lot of fun. I was really surprised how many gave me -- you know, they cheered for me. But I guess, you know, in England they are very friendly and very nice to you. Really definitely enjoyed that.

Q. You used the word "relief" to win this match. I remember when Arthur used to say he wondered when he went out there if he could hit the ball over the net. He found out, of course.


Q. Even you, do you have moments of uncertainty?

ROGER FEDERER: I always hope for a good start, you know. So I always hope that I can make those serves. I don't get as nervous any more like when I played Sampras, for instance, where I remember I came on court and, like you said with Ashe, at least you hope you're going to win a few points. You enter the match -- now I enter the matches knowing hopefully my opponents are going to feel this way where I can take advantage of that. I had a feeling at the beginning he was quite nervous. He missed a few shots. He had trouble reading my serve in the first game where I served four aces. That shows also maybe how nervous he was. But I definitely get tense, too, especially here at Wimbledon.

Q. Any special plan of attack because it was a brand-new court?

ROGER FEDERER: Well, I mean, because of the rain this morning, it definitely maybe played a little quicker than the last few days where it was extremely hot and there was quite a high bounce, where I even thought you could even kick serve, which I was quite surprised to see the last few days. But I had the feeling this was playing like the years before.

Q. Your serve, you seem to be right back on the Wimbledon pattern, hitting the lines, hitting the corners - what you didn't do against Nadal, did you? It just seemed that you're such a different player here today.

ROGER FEDERER: Well, you know, I think you always serve different on different surfaces, especially clay and grass are so different. You use the slice serve much more than you use the kick, where on clay you're not going to try to kick the ball up high or it's going to be carried out of the court. On grass you have to use different techniques. Maybe the technique with the slice favors my serve more than the kicking serve. But definitely the serve let me down in the Nadal match. I'm happy it's back for now.

Q. Does the Nadal loss stay with you at all or is it gone a day later?

ROGER FEDERER: No, I didn't think of the match at all today during the match. I'm happy about that. I guess because I know how different, you know, clay and grass is, it's not even worth it, you know, thinking about that. But maybe when I come back on clay next year or for Davis Cup against the Brits, then I'll maybe think about it quickly. But not for now.

Q. How would you compare the burden of defending the title and being the big favorite with the confidence that it gives you? Which is stronger in your mind?

ROGER FEDERER: I think in the beginning it's the pressure which you feel more. And then once you get underway, I think it's the confidence which totally dominates. So I think that's how it goes.

Q. Did you watch a tape of the Nadal match from Roland Garros?

ROGER FEDERER: No time (smiling).

Q. Would you be able to at some point in the future?

ROGER FEDERER: Yeah, maybe I would, if I would have time. But, I mean, Tony saw the match. We sort of analyzed it. It's definitely a point to take things out of that match, too, because I haven't played many, many matches where I thought I played all right the last few matches, and normally if I play all right I've won them. But that day, an okay performance wasn't good enough to beat Nadal. Maybe I would have to look into it, even though right away I knew what went wrong, what went right in that match. So don't feel the need to actually watch it, that match.

End of FastScripts….

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